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Arkansas Is First To Reject District Voting Amendment – The Washington Post, January 25, 1961
|| 1/25/2010 || 3:13 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

It should be noted that after nearly fifty years Arkansas has still not ratified the 23rd Amendment to the United States Constitution.


Arkansas Is First To Reject District Voting Amendment

Vote Is 59-26;
Opponent Fears Try at Statehood


Arkansas Is First To Reject District Voting Amendment
By Monton Mintz, Staff Reporter

Arkansas yesterday rejected the proposed Constitutional Amendment that would let District residents vote for President and Vice President. It is the first state to do so.

The Arkansas House of Representatives refused to ratify by a vote of 59 to 26. Ratification is possible only with favorable action by both the House and Senate.

Rep. Marion Crank of Little River County led the fight against ratification. The Associated Press reported from Little Rock that he told the House:

“They propose to create another state. Giving them electors is the first step.”

Several cries of “Amen” were heard when he finished speaking, the AP said.

Rep. Jack S. Oakes of Woodruff County, a proponent ratification, brought Washington’s Negro population into limited discussion.

He said he understood that the City was 80-per-cent Negro, but Arkansas should not deprive the District of the right to vote.

“This just gives them another propaganda weapon,” he said.

Oakes’ estimate of the District population is not supported by the Census Bureau. The Bureau said on Jan. 16 that preliminary figures show the population is 53.9 per cent Negro.

As to Crank’s assertion that the Amendment is the first step toward statehood, Washington leaders of the campaign for national suffrage pointed out that Congress carefully framed the Amendment to do only one thing: to allow District residents to vote for presidential electors.

The Citizens for Presidential Vote says in its official brochure: “The Amendment would not make the District of Columbia a state, nor endow it with any attributes of a state. Neither would it give the District any representation in the House of Representatives or the Senate.”

Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus did not endorse the Amendment, although he had said in September that “I cannot conceive of a situation where I would refuse to let anyone vote.”

In the Ohio Senate yesterday, a ratification resolution was introduced by Minority Leader Frank W. King (D-Toledo). The Amendment has the backing of Gov. Michael V. DiSalle.

Five state legislatures have approved the Amendment, leaving 33 to go. Ratification resolutions are pending in at least 10.

In Maryland, both houses have approved resolutions whose texts differ slightly. Final action awaits agreement on a single resolution.

Similar resolutions have been approved by the Pennsylvania House and the Minnesota and Oregon Senates.


This newspaper article was obtained from the Washington Post historical newspaper archives. This article is not in the public domain but is being republished here under the fair use doctrine of U.S. copyright law in order to continue my advocacy for full representation for the American citizens of the District of Columbia.



A Projected Relief Park Map of the United States – The Washington Times, March 28, 1897
|| 11/26/2009 || 3:54 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

Yesterday I found this unique map that was published by the Washington Times on Sunday, March 28th, 1897 in the Library of Congress / National Endowment for the Humanities “Chronicling America Collection.” Its rather amazing how this portion of the National Mall was ultimately developed! Where would Alaska & Hawaii have been added? With today being Thanksgiving, I am giving thanks to the fact that some maps were never made.



Scans & transcription of the article below:

+ MORE



The D.C. Plantation: Freedom Soon? – The New York Times, November 25th, 1991
|| 10/8/2009 || 9:42 am || + Render A Comment || ||

The D.C. Plantation: Freedom Soon?

New York Times, Nov. 25, 1991

The effort to grant statehood to Washington, D.C., could well become a campaign issue in 1992.

A bill that would admit the District to the Union as New Columbia, the 51st state, was introduced in the Senate on Thursday. And hearings on the House version of the bill saw a welcome burst of enthusiasm. Three Democratic Presidential candidates testified in favor of statehood and others sent messages of support.

That’s as it should be. The District’s treatment is a scandal, albeit one with a long history. The Federal Government runs the city like a plantation, denying it a voting representative in Congress, forbidding it even rudimentary self-rule and limiting severely its ability to raise revenue.

President Bush favors keeping the District on its knees. But Gov. Bill Clinton of Arkansas, Gov. Douglas Wilder of Virginia and Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa testified before Congress that the District deserved to become a full partner in the Union. The three were on the mark.

Washingtonians have long been denied rights that the rest of us take for granted. They weren’t allowed to vote in Presidential elections until 1964. And it was not until the Home Rule Act of 1973 that they could elect a mayor and city council; both had previously been appointed.

The Home Rule Act left the Federal Government’s dictatorial powers intact. Congress can overturn any law the District council passes. A powerful senator can throw some cash to friends by attaching amendments to the city’s budget bill. And one meddlesome Congressman can by himself trigger bearings on any law by simply raising an objection to it.

The Federal Government is not above extortion. Mr. Bush recently vetoed the city budget, forcing the District to ban the use of locally raised tax revenues to furnish abortions for impoverished women. And Congress used similar blackmail to force repeal of a law that made gun dealers and manufacturers liable for injuries from assault weapons. The citizens have reinstated the measure; gun-lobbying senators may yet thwart it. The District’s non-voting representative, Eleanor Holmes Norton, spends much of her time fending off odious infringements like these.

Fiscal restrictions abound. The Federal Government’s real estate is exempt from taxation; the city is forbidden to tax the earnings of commuters, most of whom are Federal employees. District officials say these restrictions cause the city to forgo $1.9 billion in revenues per year. Last year the Federal Government paid a paltry $430 million in return. Denied sources of revenue, the city levies some of the highest taxes in the nation.

Those who oppose statehood typically offer weak constitutional arguments against it. It seems fairly clear, however, that Republicans who oppose statehood do so because the District would send two more Democrats to the Senate.

But most Americans understand democracy well. The issue of statehood for the District raises an obvious question: How can we justify championing democracy abroad while inflicting second-class citizenship in the nation’s capital? The answer is obvious, too: We can’t.


This newspaper article was obtained from the Congressional Record in the Library of Congress related to H.R. 51, The New Columbia Admission Act of 1993. The article is not in the public domain but is being republished here under the fair use doctrine of U.S. copyright law in order to continue my advocacy for full representation for the American citizens of the District of Columbia.



The 23rd Amendment – Time Magazine – March 31, 1961
|| 2/14/2009 || 6:05 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

I found this article when I was looking up more information about the Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution:

Thanks to a succession of oversights by the Founding Fathers and early Congresses, the residents of the District of Columbia have never enjoyed one particular constitutional right cherished by all other Americans: the privilege of voting. There was no reasoning attending the oversights; it was just plain neglect.† Last week Rhode Island cast the 36th affirmative vote for the 23rd Amendment to the Constitution, giving 746,000 Washingtonians the right to vote in presidential elections — and three electoral votes. Ohio and Kansas are expected to ratify the amendment this week, making the necessary two-thirds majority for official adoption (only one legislature—Arkansas—rejected the amendment outright, on the ground that 54% of the District’s citizens are Negroes).

But after 161 years, Washingtonians will be limited to voting for the President and Vice President. They will continue to have no representative in Congress, no voice in their municipal government.

†One segment of the capital gained the right to vote in 1846, when one-third of the District’s land area, now Arlington County, was ceded back to Virginia.

What this article shows to me is how racist America used to be….
In some ways, even with an African American president, it still is.
sigh



Related 23rd Amendment Entries:





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